• August 4, 2020

The Wisdom of the Elderberry

When you've been studying plants as long as I have, some of them become like old friends. You can easily spot them while driving 60 miles an hour down the road. One of those plant friends for me is the elderberry bush. My first experience using elder was to gather the wild berries, which I made into elderberry syrup. Later I wildcrafted the flowers to make my Children's Composition formula for colds, flu, and fever. Over the years I've found that other parts of the plant that are useful too. The…

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  • July 28, 2020

Apples Up!

In the late 1980s I learned a very valuable lesson about creating happiness in life that I want to share with you. While visiting with my chiropractor Dr Brenay and a friend I was lucky to meet his brother, Dr. Alsop. During our visit he starting asking us what we wanted in life, but whatever we replied, he asked again, "And why do you want it?" And when we answered, he continued, "And why do you want that?"Eventually, he drove the point home that we want things because we think they will make us…

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  • July 21, 2020

Creating Emotional Immunity

Emotions are contagious. You can catch them from other people just like you can catch a virus. When millions of people around the world are experiencing similar emotions, we might call that an emotional pandemic. Emotional pandemics are dangerous things. They create hysteria, a situation where people are overwhelmed by the group emotions and can't think straight. Think of it this way. A mob is like an epidemic of anger. It makes people lose their normal sense of right and wrong and engage in…

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  • July 14, 2020


If you've ever heard someone call a remedy "snake oil" to condemn it as fake or unproven you might be surprised to learn it got its start with echinacea. In the 1880s Dr. H.C.F. Meyer patented remedy for snake bites with echinacea as the primary ingredient. He sold it as a cure-all, claiming to have used it to cure over 600 snakebites.

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  • July 7, 2020

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo leaf from clipart.com In 1972, I took my first field botany class, Trees and Shrubs, at the University of Utah. It was during that class I first learned about ginkgo. My teacher told us that the ginkgo tree was a living fossil, a tree that was believed to be extinct at one time because Western botanists had only found fossils of the leaves. As it turned out it was still growing in small areas in China thanks to the cultivation of Chinese monks. Since…

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  • June 30, 2020

St. John's Wort

St. John's wort is a perfect example of what Paul Bergner was saying at a conference of the American Herbalist Guild many years ago. He said that modern herbal commerce was impoverishing herbalism. What he meant was that herbs tend to become pigeon-holed as remedies for specific health issues and the other uses of the herb tend to be forgotten. If I were to ask most people what St. John's wort is used for...

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